Hard Disk Sentinel Professional v5.5 Review

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Hard Disk Sentinel Professional overview

Hard Disk Sentinel Professional (HDSentinel) is a hard disk monitoring software with highest possible support of HDD/SSD/SSHD (hybrid) drives. Its goal is to find, test, diagnose and repair hard disk drive problems, report and display SSD and HDD health, performance degradations and failures.
Hard Disk Sentinel gives complete textual description, tips and displays the most comprehensive information about the hard disks and solid state disks inside the computer or in external enclosures (USB / e-SATA). Many different alerts and report options are available to ensure maximum safety of your valuable data.

The software monitors hard disk drive/HDD status, including health, temperature, performance status,  provides detailed disk information, statistics, alerts and backup functions. The program also monitors all S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology, built in most hard disks, solid state disks and hybrid drives (SSHD) today) values for each disk. In addition, it measures the disk transfer speed in real time which can be used as a benchmark or to detect possible hard disk failures, performance degradations. It points on present or future disk problems like excessive temperature or degradation of disk health.

HDSentinel is a perfect solution to protect your data with the built-in sensitive hard disk health rating system which is sensitive to any hard disk problems and the backup options (pro version)

No need to use separate tools to verify internal hard disks, external hard disks, SSDs, hybrid disk drives (SSHD), disks in RAID arrays and Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives as these are all included in a single software. In addition Hard Disk Sentinel Pro detects and displays status and S.M.A.R.T. information about LTO tape drives and appropriate industrial (micro) SD cards and eMMC devices too.

Hard Disk Sentinel Professional PORTABLE version

This version doesn’t need installation and contains all tests, diagnostic functions, options and all features of the installed version except automatically start with Windows, use in Service mode and configure data folder location.

The portable version helps to diagnose hard disks in different systems. You can easily diagnose any problems of HDD and SSD devices without installation but notice that you can use it only one computer at any given time.

It can be effectively used from any removable device (for example pendrive) by system integrators and advanced users to periodically diagnose and test hard disk drives. However; it will not provide real-time protection offered by the installed version. Of course, this portable version requires a license similar to the installed version.  If you are planning to use both versions, separate licenses or Family license is required.

The Portable version can be used on unlimited systems, HDD and SSD  with only one computer at any given time.

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Homepage:

https://www.hdsentinel.com/index.php

Product Page:

https://www.hdsentinel.com/hard_disk_sentinel_professional.php

Download link:

https://www.hdsentinel.com/download.php

Add-ons, Extensions for Hard Disk Sentinel:

https://www.hdsentinel.com/add-ons.php

FAQs:

https://www.hdsentinel.com/faq.php

Current version:  5.5

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Software update:

This can be completed automatically or manually through searching for the new version at any time

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Select which hard disk monitoring product will suit my needs:

You can check the differences between the trial, the Standard and the Professional version. This will help you to select the product which best fit your needs:

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Multi Language Support:

https://www.hdsentinel.com/languages.php

The program supports many languages to let you enjoy using your favorite software in your own language. The installation package contains the most recent language files for all available languages. Currently more than 25 different languages are supported (Bulgarian, Czech, English, Hungarian, Italian, French, Romanian, Russian, German, Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Spanish, Portuguese-Brazil, Dutch, Greek, etc.) languages are supported.

If you need to update the language file, simply download and manually update the language files, save to the installation folder where Hard Disk Sentinel (standard or Professional) is installed. The Professional versions also require the update of the secondary language file

System Requirements:

Hardware Requirements

Pentium or compatible CPU
64 megabytes of system memory
50 megabytes of hard disk space
One or more hard disk, solid state disk, hybrid drive (SSHD) with ATA (IDE or Serial ATA/SATA II/SATA 6G), SCSI, SAS, USB, NVMe M.2 interface.

Software Requirements

Windows operating system: Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Home Server, Windows 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 both 32 and 64 bit versions (where applicable)
System administrator account (in service mode, it is possible to use without administrator rights and in service mode, works even without user logged in)

Hardware Compatibility

Hard Disk Sentinel does not need any special hardware device to work with. All motherboards and IDE, S-ATA, SCSI hard disk controllers should provide detailed information about connected disks. You can find the list of hardware devices successfully tested with the software here:

https://www.hdsentinel.com/compatibility.php

If you experience any compatibility issues, please use the Report menu Send test report to developer option

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Installation:

This is very easy. Simply use the portable version with no need to do anything just download and start using the program. Alternatively, you can double click the installer and follow simple on-screen instructions till the process is complete and you have the program working on your computer. Simple three steps; install, configure alerts and backup functions and stay protected. Your system is now safe. You’ll be notified about the problems but if everything is correct, Hard Disk Sentinel just sits on tray and displays current status. Your data is protected.

Free Trial:

The free trial (unregistered version) can be used to verify compatibility and the level of status information could be retrieved but remember that some functions are not available.

Purchase:

You can do purchase of a license on the official website. It is available at a price of 29.95 USD

Activation:

This is very easy using the license key and activate online or send and email to the support team who will send you key file. Simply use load activated keyfile button. You can use any registration name

Benefits of Registration

Obtain the registration code to enable all functions in minutes. Unlock much more features, functions and configurable options.
Free life-of-product technical support and help.
Lifetime License! Never pay again for any new versions (of the same type)!
Recover lost registration key any time.
No annoying registration notice.
No time or other forms of limitations on usage.
Finally, your registration enables to improve the software and continue developing high quality products in the future.

User Interface:

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The program has a very friendly, easy to use interface. All information are displayed in the main window of the application. Quick controls allow easy navigation to access all hard disks, partitions and different information. Intuitive user interface elements display information by using green/yellow/red color to indicate the level of problem. Detailed text description and context sensitive help guides the user thru the features and options. There is a tray icon which will display current status and keep you informed about any problems.

Menus:

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Features:

Hard Disk Management

Control Advanced Power Management level and adjust Free Fall Control sensitivity of hard disks to maximize hard disk performance and data safety.

Backup

Wide range of automatic backup methods are available: to backup data to local computer, to a LAN server or to a remote server by transferring files via FTP (or even by e-mail). It is possible to use 3rd party tools to create archives or burn CD/DVD media. Hard Disk Sentinel Professional can manage power status of remote computers in the network, so it is possible to automatically power on and shut down remote computers, for example a backup server.

Instant S.M.A.R.T. analyzing

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Hard Disk Sentinel can communicate with all IDE, Serial ATA, NVMe, SCSI, SAS and most USB hard disk drives, SSD and hybrid drives (SSHD) to detect their status and temperature. Hard disk status are displayed immediately as you launch the application, there is no need to analyse hard disks for a long period. It displays the current and maximum temperature for the hard disk. It reads all general and vendor-specific attributes and monitor their values. For advanced users, all raw data are displayed also including power-on time and number of read/write errors. Hard Disk Sentinel interprets the performance and fitness related S.M.A.R.T. values and displays the calculated Performance and Health percentage, total power on time and estimated lifetime remaining.

Temperature:

It displays the current and maximum temperature for the hard disk.

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You may set custom temperature threshold

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Hard Disk Hardware and Software Tests

By using Hard Disk Sentinel, it is possible to start hardware hard disk self tests. These tests can be used to effectively find all hard disk problems because built-in hardware methods are used to verify hard disk components (for example heads, servo, internal buffer in the Short self test). The Extended self test also verifies the complete hard disk surface, finds and repairs all weak areas and re-allocates the possible bad sectors. This is not possible with the software-based hard disk surface scan methods (for example, by using scandisk).

Seek Noise Test

Seek Test – to verify hard disk noise, seek time performance and temperature. Longer tests can be used as very deep and intensive stress-tests for the hard disk and verify if additional cooling is required.

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Enhanced Hard Disk Tests

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Surface Test – to verify hard disk surface with intensive hard disk testing methods to reveal and fix hard disk problems. Surface reinitialisation resets all sectors to factory default states. Different destructive and non-destructive tests are available to re-fresh the condition of any hard disk drives, solid state disks or even your pendrives or memory cards.

Surface test may show failing hard drive as this image:

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Configure NAS disk monitoring

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Logging

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Hard Disk Sentinel logs all degradations in all SMART parameters and issues alerts in such cases to maximise data protection. For example, if a new bad sector is found on your hard disk, you will be notified.

Drive connection / Removal Event Log:

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Alerts:

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Hard Disk Sentinel has wide range of alerts upon different problems. It can send e-mail (with e-mail->SMS gateway it can be SMS warning to your mobile), network message, can play sound alerts and so.It can execute various tasks (automatic panic backup or any configured external applications) in case of a problem.There is an option to send daily emails about current status.

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Shutdown

Offers option to shut down the computer on hard disk failure, HDD overheat or health degradation. This option can be used in combination of the alerts to prevent further data loss.

Hard Disk Details

Detects and displays every information about the hard disk, from the revision number and buffer size to all features it has. The maximum available and current transfer modes are also displayed.

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HDD status in Windows Explorer

View the current health status and used space in Windows Explorer or in any other application, so you’ll always know the amount of used space for each partitions and the hard disk drive condition.

Information on demand

Current hard disk temperatures and health are displyed on the system tray and can be displayed in a small status window, the desktop itself or in a sidebar gadget (under Windows Vista or newer operating system). Average and maximum temperatures are logged for all hard disks and these informations are displayed in graphs for statistical purposes.

Windows Volume / RAID information

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Hard Disk Performance

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Logs how much data were read from or written to the hard disk. Displays current transfer rates for both reading and writing and estimates the maximum available (theoretical) transfer rate for a particular hard disk.

Hard Disk Partitions

Displays partitions for each physical hard disks and type and usage informations about them so you cannot run out of space. Hard Disk Sentinel sends this information automatically in alert/status messages.

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Open status of offline disks:

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Acoustic Management

Offers option to control the acoustic level of IDE/S-ATA hard disk. It is possible to increase performance or make the hard disk drives more silent. Unique feature: control the acoustic level of your external USB hard disk (if your USB enclosure is equipped with one of the proper USB-ATA bridge chips which supports this feature).

Clock Synchronization

It offers option to synchronize the PC clock with an atomic clock via NTP (Network Time Protocol).

Improvements

Hard Disk Sentinel is constantly improving. More features will be available soon. If you have any idea which can be useful, send to the developer to be considered.

API Interface For Developers

With the API it is possible to query detected hard disk information from the software. This way 3rd party software can log, display or otherwise process detected hard disk drive information including temperature, health and so.

Remote Monitoring

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Hard Disk Sentinel Professional offers extensive remote monitoring capabilities. Hard disk status can be checked remotely by a web browser, even by a mobile phone or a PDA.

How does Hard Disk Sentinel work?

Hard Disk Sentinel runs in the background and verifies SSD / HDD health status by inspecting the SMART status of the disk(s). If an error is found or unexpected behaviour is detected, it warns the user about the current situation and also can perform appropriate actions (for example, start an automatic backup).

Usually, hard disk health status may slowly decline, from day to day. The SMART monitoring technology can predict HDD failure by examining the critical values of the disk drive. Compared to other software, Hard Disk Sentinel detects and reports every disk problem. It is much more sensitive to disk failures and can display better and more detailed information about hard disk expected life and the problems found (if any). This is a more sophisticated way to predict failures than the “traditional” method: checking S.M.A.R.T. attribute thresholds and values only. For more information, please read how hard disk S.M.A.R.T. works and why Hard Disk Sentinel is different.

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The software displays the current hard disk temperature and logs maximum and average HDD temperatures. This may be used to check the maximum temperature under high hard disk load. For the importance of the hard disk operating temperature, see the Frequently Asked Questions. See the list of Features of Hard Disk Sentinel Professional or our products for hard disk monitoring.

Hard disk Sentinel Configuration:

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Hard Disk Drives
Preferences
Status Window
Threshold / Tray icon:
Alerts:
Message settings
Email configuration:
Registration
Update
Advanced options
Disk control
Hotkeys
Operations
Integration
Send test report

How to start using Hard Disk Sentinel?

Hard Disk Sentinel is designed to start automatically with the system and run in the background, to monitor hard disk information (temperature, health, performance, etc.) and report any kind of problems as early as possible.
Check the text description and health values reported for your hard disks / SSDs
Follow if Hard Disk Sentinel reports problems/recommendations, especially if it recommends backup.
Use test methods in Disk menu to reveal and fix possible problems.
Configure alerts to be notified about any kind of possible new problems (after verifying stable status of the hard disks)
Set up advanced functions (backup, daily status reports, remote status monitoring, etc.)
The Tray icon immediately reflects the problem by flashing a red X icon.
Hard Disk Sentinel displays a tray icon bubble with the error and the hard disk.
If the small status window is visible, the error of the problematic hard disk is displayed there.
The Professional version can also execute any external application or start backup operation immediately, for example to backup data immediately from the failing drive to another.

Hard Disk Tests

Hardware self-tests: short, extended, conveyance tests

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Random seek test

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Surface test

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Text Description

Hard Disk Sentinel analyses the S.M.A.R.T. attributes provided by the disk and creates textual rating. This will include the problems encountered during the lifetime of the hard disk, spin up problems, data transfer errors and so on

Disk Contents Inspector 

lets you to peek the sectors stored on the hard disk

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Monitor (micro) SD card health and status:

The detection of the status is not an automatic process. If you want to detect of a different SD card types; this may cause performance degradation and unneccessary wear. To avoid this problem, the program needs to first detect the device type then it will automatically detect the complete status every time. This is simply done using Control device-specific detection to select the type of the device and enable the status detection of the SD card

Now, let’s as an important question:Do you need Hard Disk Sentinel?

If you are using a computer equipped with at least one hard disk or solid state disk and you want to ensure that your data will be available any time, then the answer is YES. Hard Disk Sentinel is especially designed to you if:

You are using multiple hard disks / SSDs / hybrid drives (SSHD) in your computer (IDE / Serial ATA (S-ATA, e-SATA) / NVMe / SCSI / SAS / USB hard disks) or in an external enclosure (check the hardware compatibility pages for the list of compatible hardware)
You are using a mobile / removable rack or enclosure with hard disk inside
You are using notebook computer
You are using server or desktop computers with high disk load
You want to maximize system stability, HDD performance and overall integrity, receive HDD alert on high temperature or low health
You do not want to lose your sensitive and valuable data, do not want to pay for HDD recovery

Conclusion:

Hard Disk Sentinel is the perfect data protection solution: it can be effectively used to prevent HDD failure and SSD / HDD data loss because it has the most sensitive disk health rating system which is extremely sensitive to disk problems. This way even a small HDD problem can’t be missed. The Professional version has scheduled and automatic (on-problem) disk backup options to prevent data loss caused by not only failure but by malware or accidental delete also.